Marlene passed away at the Spencer Hospital on December 31, 2022, at the age of eighty-nine years old. Marlene was born on March 15, 1933, to Harry and Bertha Broyles in Minot ND. Her education was in Minot, ND and graduated from Minot High School.
Marlene married Robert R Orris on August 30, 1952. To this union there were 9 children, twins Ronald & Dean Orris, deceased, Brian Orris deceased and Karen Orris Ash, deceased. Surviving children, Sandra Orris Strohmeier, Phoenix, AZ, Nancy Orris (Lee) Ketcham, Spencer, IA, Susan Orris (Andre) Marshall, Las Vegas, NV, Bradley Orris (Jennifer), Rapid City, SD and Debra Orris Feges, Oak Grove, MN.
During her marriage with Robert the young family moved around throughout South Dakota, making their roots in Huron, SD where she was manager of The Plains Restaurant. In 1967 the family moved to Spencer, IA making it their hometown. She divorced and later married John D. Bruce of Spencer on Feb 2, 1979.
Marlene was known as Marla to her family and friends. While she lived in Spencer, she was the owner/operator of Marla’s Café, Manager of Mathieson’s Lounge, Manager of Spencer Golf & Country Club. She was known for her excellent cooking and her delicious homemade pies.
In 1981 Marla and John moved to Cushing, Iowa where she was the owner/operator of Marla’s Café & Bar. It was during this time she worked days, nights and weekends to serve millions of people, the delight in her life, food. In 2000 they sold the business, semi-retired and moved to Arkansas to make that their winter home where she was employed at H&R Block. After years of traveling back and forth they moved to Lake Park, IA where she was the manager/operator of Silver Lake Country Club. She also owned/operated a four-plex apartment building next door to their home. John passed away in 2009, Marla made her permanent home in Spencer. She continued to work as a private bookkeeper for farmers and a private tax preparer. She worked fulltime during tax season at H&R Block until the age of eighty-two when she retired from all her working endeavors.
Marla was an AVID Minnesota Vikings Fan. She loved the color purple, her apartment in Spencer was loaded with purple, including chairs, drapes, and décor; she also had a love for cardinals. She was a strong and independent woman. She had a mind of her own and used it very well during her eighty-nine years. She lived a happy life with family and friends frequently around her. Her favorite times were going to SISTER’s Café in downtown Spencer every morning, sitting around a banquet table surrounded by friends, eating a great breakfast and visiting for hours over a cup of coffee.
She is preceded in death by her parents Harry & Bertha Broyles, her 1st husband, Robert R. Orris, her 2nd husband John D. Bruce, brother Leo Broyles, sister Jeannie Miller, her infant twin boys, Ronald and Dean Orris, infant son, Brian Orris, daughter Karen Orris Ash, granddaughter Melissa Orris and great granddaughter Evelyn Ketcham.
Left to cherish her memories are her children, Sandi, Nancy, Susan, Brad and Debbie, her 15 grandchildren of whom she loved, Robert Strohmeier, TX, Becky Strohmeier, MN. Nathan Ash, Spencer, Nicholas Ketcham, Ames, Lucas Ketcham, Spencer, Douglas Ketcham, Ankeny, Marcus Ketcham, Spencer, Isac Marshall, WA, Eric Marshall, CA, Matthew Marshall NV, Michael Orris CO, Rachelle Orris Gritz, SD, Alysha Orris Whitaker, SD, Natasha Feges, MN, Zachary Feges, MN. Also left to cherish her memories are her 23 great grandchildren of whom she loved dearly and enjoyed spending every moment she could with them. Her joy in her later years was holding babies, puppies and watching them grow.
She is survived by several nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
There will be a Celebration of Life held to honor Marla Bruce at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, April 15, 2023 (Ironically Tax Day) A.M., at the Faith Lutheran Church in Spencer, Iowa.
A luncheon will be served at the church after the service.
The interment will be held following the luncheon at the Riverside Cememtery in Spencer.
Memorials can be directed to:
3020 Center Lake Dr.
Spirit Lake, IA 51360